Iowa governor defends picks for Board of Regents

Published On: Mar 25 2013 05:08:02 PM CDT
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -

Gov. Terry Branstad is defending his picks to the Board of Regents after two of his three nominees were not endorsed by a Senate committee.

Branstad says Monday that senators should not make decisions based on "political litmus tests."

The Senate Education Committee voted last week to forward two of Branstad's nominations to the full Senate without recommendation. Current Board President Craig Lang did not get the committee's backing. Neither did Grimes businessman Robert Cramer. The board did recommend confirming Webster City physician Subhash Sahai to the nine-member board that oversees the state's three public universities.

Lang's tenure has troubled Democrats. Lawmakers questioned Cramer about his socially conservative views.

Branstad praises Lang's record, citing a planned tuition freeze as one accomplishment. Branstad also says Cramer's construction knowledge would be valuable.